Wheel well.

how many shirts is too many?   i just don't know!

Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, a green t-shirt, blue shorts, grey socks, and brown shoes.

Last week I was in my Midwest hometown, visiting my parents, and accidentally driving my dad’s car into a wheelbarrow while he stood on the back porch and watched it happen.

But let me back up. (So to speak.)

The garage at my parents’ house is technically big enough for two cars, but it’s close. This means that when you’re backing out, there usually is a lot of careful eyeballing, neck-swiveling, and maneuvering needed to get around the trash cans, hanging garden tools (like wheelbarrows), another car, and other obstacles when you are reversing out of the garage.

It’s not actually that hard — there is absolutely enough space, but not abundant space. You can’t just sort of close your eyes and reverse with abandon out of the garage, but you can back out carefully like an adult.

Anyways, whenever I am at home I have to drive my dad’s car, and so I have basically been living in constant fear and anxiety every time I go home because I know that at some point (probably multiple points) I am going to have to back my dad’s beautiful white Honda out of the driveway, knowing with 100% certainty that I am going to drive it into the side of the garage, into a nearby hanging wheelbarrow, or just into the side of the house from overcompensating while trying not to hit those first two things.

And yet, in nearly 10 years of living under this system, I’ve never actually run the car into the side of the garage or any other obstacle.

Until last week. At which time I not only backed the car directly into the wheelbarrow hanging on the side of the garage, but I did so while my dad stood on the back porch watching.


Oh, and did I mention that the day before I accidentally backed the car into a wagon full of pepper plants he had left in the driveway? This is no small wagon, either. I had to maneuver around it to *walk* into the garage, and yet I did not think to move it before I attempted to move the Honda through the exact path where the peppers were.

Oh, and yes my dad did hear me hit his pepper plants all the way from inside and yes he did come out to see me red-faced and pulling the wagon out of the driveway like it was just a funny coincidence that he heard a loud crash from outside right after I walked out with the car keys. “Ha ha! Yes everything is fine! Everything is normal here! No need to be concerned your property and/or gardening hobby!”

What is it about irrational fears, like running a car into the side of a garage, that makes them either 1. never actually occur or 2. occur in an even crazier way than you ever imagined when entertaining anxiety dreams about them?

On my last night in town, I was running some videos back to the video store, and at that time I did also happen to tap the car into the recycling cans sitting at the end of the driveway, but since it didn’t induce a full-on CRASH sound like the first two, it hardly seemed worth noting at that point.

Anyways, a great thing about becoming an adult is that you stop being embarrassed by your parents, and instead you can start to embarrass yourself in front of your parents.

I swear I’m a good driver. I swear I’m a good driver. I swear I’m a good driver.

the patchy apacheWhen I was at home, enjoying some obscenely hot and humid days and even a couple window-rattling thunder storms, I also got to spend some time with Apache, the as-limber-as-she-is-suspicious calico cat that lives in the house with my parents. She basically refuses to acknowledge my existence, choosing to leave the room anytime I decide to enter. We have a great relationship.

One of the great things about this, though, is that from time to time during my visit I would walk into a room while she was mid-stretch and she, unable to walk out of the room because she was twisted in some gravity-defying cat posture, would instead just freeze in the stretch.

Which made for some great photos.

But now I am back in Humboldt, getting back into being a vegan and back into doing yoga and thinking about yoga and what I’m going to eat all the time.

Oh, and also in the week since I last posted, I also gave my talk at WordCamp Seattle which went really well and I felt a lot less gut-churningly terrified right before and during the talk, so you know, progress!

You can see my slides, if you care about learning how to grow a blog:

wordcamp slides

The slide that has a bunny talking on the phone got basically no laughs, but was probably my favorite part of the whole talk, so clearly I’m going to have to re-evaluate if I am crazy or if maybe bloggers & developers just don’t “get” cute animal humor. But that is, like, the target demographic for that right?

Whatever. I will probably use that picture in every presentation I do for the rest of my life, so I guess I’ll just have to become a taste-maker in that category.

Anyways if you need me, I’m going to be quitting my job and devoting my life to practicing backing out of my driveway a thousand times a day until the next time I go home. Just in case.



  1. marthaschaefer

    A fellow Humboldtian! My lovely daughter is there and I while I steadfastly maintain New Hampshire is the best place in the world, I do love to go visit her. Great post, by the way and I am interested to take a look at your slides.

    • Kate Stull

      Hey! Always fun to run into other people who know Humboldt. 🙂 I feel like New Hampshire is probably a pretty similar place (although colder!), though I have never been. Thanks for stopping by!

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